Saturday, January 16, 2010

21st Century Newspeak

Author David Sirota had a good column that was published yesterday on how the corporate media wrongly uses the political spectrum to frame various debates.

Here is a clip:

"War is peace, freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength"-more than a quarter century after those oxymorons were supposed to pervade an Orwellian 1984, today's media make such newspeak even more preposterous: On economic issues, we are often told that right is center, center is left, and left is fringe.

For a year, national reporters (with help from conservative talk-radio goons) have depicted the center-right Obama administration and its corporatist policies as quasi-Marxist. We've heard that a government-run public health care option is a "liberal" cause, even as polls confirm that most Americans-not just liberals-support the idea. We're told that legislators backing no-strings-attached bank bailouts are mainstream "centrists," while bailout opponents are extremists-even as public opinion surveys say the opposite.

This is Washington's "fair and balanced" journalism (or "journalism," as it were) and as two of the most respected metro newspapers show this week, its distortions can bleed into local coverage.

You can follow the link above to read the rest of the piece, but I was glad to see this observation made by Sirota. One only needs to look at the health care town hall forums over the summer and the rise of the tea-party movement to see this put into practice.

As I wrote about prior to the election and as has been stated by many like Sirota since, President Obama is a centrist-Democrat. Not a Marxist, not a socialist, but a centrist Democrat and yet the framing of his Presidency would sometimes have you believe that he is on the so-called "far left".

It is quite a frustrating trend to push back against because labels tend to stick with people more than an examination of actual policies. It is right to point out like Sirota did and this trend must continue to be noted when it happens in the future.

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